Golden Sunshine Herbal Balance Far Infrared Cream – A review by Heiko Lade

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I would hazard to guess how many massage creams there are available on the market these days but if there is one that is ideally suited to the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner, then this one is it.

The herbal formula ingredients are all based on classical die da herbs that are commonly used in external application treatments.

Who makes the massage cream?

Golden Sunshine is a company based in Colorado, USA, and has been manufacturing Chinese herbal-based products s since 1998. Using Classical Chinese medicine knowledge combined with modern technology have developed a range of user friendly products available to practitioners and patients.

How does it come and what can it do?

This massage cream comes in small tubs which can be readily passed onto patients for effective and safe home care use. In particular, if the patient’s family or partner is able to help, massaging the cream into injured or troublesome areas can really accelerate the recovery process because of the herbs therapeutic action. In summary, the herbs will increase qi and blood circulation, help resolve damp, wind and cold accumulation, benefit the muscles, sinews and bones hence increasing range of movement and reducing pain.

What herbs are in the cream formulation and what are their individual actions?

chi shao – Red peony regulates the blood and reduces pain as a result of traumatic injury and used here as part of the cream to promote blood circulation

dang gui – Angelica root is regarded as the king herb herb for the blood. When the blood has weak circulation at a specific body area, there can be numbness, pain and decreased range of movement. Dang gui is classically used to promote blood circulation and strengthen the blood.

hong hua – These flower stamens are one of the most commonly used Chinese herbs to increase blood circulation and are in many die da formula. Hong hua is used here to help the other herbs travel to the area that is being massaged and hence can help reduce pain.

zi ran tong – About 5 % of the total pharmacopeia of Chinese medicine are mineral products of which pyrite is an example. Pyrite is used here to mobilize blood circulation and has the traditional reputation to mend injured bones and hence benefit the joints when being rubbed into the area.

xue ji – This herb is known as  dragon’s blood because of deep red colour and comes from the resinous secretion of the Daemonorops draco species. It is commonly used herb in many external die da formula to promote blood circulation and reduce pain and being a key ingredient in The Golden Sunshine Herbal Balance massage cream helps increase circulation to area and hence reduce pain.

mo yao – Commonly known as myrrh and used here to reduce swelling and mobilize the blood circulation after an injury which helps reduce pain. In addition, it has the traditional use to assist with wind damp painful obstruction, such as seen in arthritic and rheumatic conditions.

chuan xiong – A common herb in external die da formula to mobilize blood circulation and resolve pain.

wu jia pi – This herb has been commonly combined with ru xiang and zi ran tong to address issues with traumatic injuries including simple fractures. It can benefit sinews and bones as it addresses wind damp cold painful obstruction.

niu xi – This herb strengthens the liver and kidneys and hence when used in external die da formula, can benefit the joints. The joints being comprised of bones, ligaments and tendons can benefit of massage into the area from this cream to address pain, stiffness and weakness.

bai zhu – The spleen in Chinese medicine controls the flesh and muscles. Bai zhu is an important herb to benefit the spleen and part of this formula to address muscle injury and weakness.

qin jiao – Wind damp painful obstruction according to Chinese medicine causes stiffness, pain and cramping. Qin Jiao when massaged into these areas can help with these symptoms.

ban xia – When injuries or rheumatic complaints become chronic, nodules can develop and ban xia is in this formula to break up intense areas areas of stagnation causing lumps and nodules. It is also warming to help with general circulation.

mu xiang – Regulates the flow of qi and reduces pain.

she chuang zi – Traditionally used for itchy skin and used here in this formula for balancing the effects of applying external herbs

rou gui – cinnamon bark to warm the area

bi xie – This herb has been traditionally has been used for relaxing the sinews and muscle aches. In modern day traumatology wards in Chinese hospitals, bi xie  has been used for rheumatic pain of hips and knees

jojoba oil – The carrier oil for the other ingredients.

jasmine oil – aromatic and dispersing to help other herbs properties penetrate more deeply

tourmaline – Crystal particle have been added to enhance the piezoelectric heating effect

wintergreen oil – Helps the action of the other herbs

Menthol – helps other herbs by penetrating deeper into the tissues

How do you use the massage cream?

One can rub as much or as little as they need into the targeted area that needs attention. Any excess cream can be wiped off afterwards, though I suggest try rubbing any excess cream into the surrounding tissues. As the cream is designed to maximize penetration of the herbal ingredients, it is not always necessary to do deep heavy hard massage so even the novice can just gently keep rubbing and let the magic of the herbs do the work.

What conditions can the cream be used for?

The herbs themselves will benefit the muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as bones so really, any body area is accessible. I have used it for back, neck and thigh sprains. I recommend it to patients with tennis elbow to massage down the course of Large intestine channel (such as extensor carpi radialis brevis). Regular massage into calves for runners. Self massage into back of the neck to ease stresses of the day, the uses for this cream are endless both for patient and practitioner. As a practitioner, I try to do just a little bit of massage down the bladder channel after taking out the needles from the shu points helps to move the qi and blood in teh whole body.

Where can they be obtained?

Patients can obtain them here at The Acupuncture Clinic or along with practitioners, are available from the New Zealand distributor Kinetic Distributions.